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Three Lions finally come to life.

ENGLAND

David James - 6 - Had little to do but when he was called into action handled well, including a free-kick from Birsa which was expertly clutched on to.

Glen Johnson - 6 - Continued to frustrate and delight in equal measures; getting forward to support Milner well but looking very unassured on the back foot. A fresh air kick early on did not set the right tone.

John Terry - 7 - Rarely troubled by a lightweight Slovenian attack but made two expert interceptions: a well-timed block to deny Novakovic at 0-0 in the first half and threw himself in the way of a Dedic shot in the second period.

Matthew Upson - 6.5 - Had more of an impact on the game in the Slovenian box than his own, winning a challenge on the edge of the area that fed a chance for Rooney. Made a telling block late on to deny a Slovenian shot - his best contribution.

Ashley Cole
- 8 - England's best player in the first two games and the Chelsea man looked like the world-class left-back many proclaim him to be. Rarely at fault against at nippy Slovenia attack and provided superb support going forward.

Gareth Barry
- 6 - Looked like a man who hasn't played much in six weeks, Barry was off the pace for most of the match. Guilty of a few careless fouls and wasteful passes, the Man City man did manage to save some face with a few telling blocks.

James Milner - 8 - Never has a man gone from so bad to so good so quickly. Was visibly nervous in the opening exchanges and lost the ball countless times, but persisted, grew in confidence and put in some brilliant crosses throughout the rest of the game, especially for Defoe's goal.

Frank Lampard - 7 - Managed to pass the ball to team-mates in this game, which was a vast improvement on the Algeria outing. The Chelsea man looked far perkier and confident, but was unable to really stamp his authority on the game.

Steven Gerrard - 7.5 - Despite being again asked to play out on the left the Liverpool skipper was much more of the man we usually see pulling on a red shirt and linked up brilliantly with Rooney. Would have scored in the first half but for an excellent save from Handanovic.

Wayne Rooney - 6.5 - Put the ghosts of Algeria to rest with a passionate, hard-working display but that goal still eluded him: hit the post when put clean through by Gerrard. Linked up well with the Liverpool man and was clearly lifted by the vocal England supporters.

Jermain Defoe - 7.5 - Typical Defoe performance: quiet for large periods but when presented with a chance in the six-yard box tucked it away like the deadly finisher we all know he is. Would Heskey have finished so confidently?

Subs

Joe Cole - 7 - Finally England fans got their wish with the introduction of Cole late on, and the out-of-contract winger showed what the Three Lions have missed with some neat touches while putting himself about.

Emile Heskey - N/A


Jer-main man | Defoe settles English nerves with well-taken early goal

SLOVENIA

Samir Handanovic - 8 - Could do nothing with Defoe's finish but was otherwise solid, plucking some dangerous balls out of the air and getting down low expertly to deny Steven Gerrard. Brilliantly clawed away a John Terry header in the second half and tipped a point-blank Rooney shot onto the post.

Miso Brecko - 5 - Struggled with the movement of Gerrard and handed the Liverpool man far too much space on numerous occasions.

Marko Suler - 5 - Could not contain a bullish Rooney and was only prevented from being on the end of a comprehensive scoreline thanks to his solid goalkeeper.

Bostjan Cesar - 5 - Did not enjoy playing against the pacy Defoe and lost his man for the opening goal. Was tied in knots by the waves of red attacks.

Bojan Jokic - 5.5 - Failed to prevent Milner delivering a string of excellent crosses and resorted to fouling the Aston Villa winger.

Valter Birsa - 5.5 - A quiet game from the man shouldered with the responsibility of sparking the Eastern Europeans into life. One half-hearted shot from the edge of the area was easily gathered by David James.

Robert Koren  - 5 - A traveller in midfield as play continously passed him by. Rarely touched the ball and was busier chasing red shadows.

Alexander Radosavljevic - 5 - More transparent than a John Terry press conference, the central midfielder didn't get anywhere near the ball or the England men in the middle of the park.

Andraz Kirm - 5 - Rarely troubled Cole at left-back and was a quiet spectator as his side played chase-ball for large portions of the game.

Zlatan Ljubijankic - 5 - Mirrored a certain other Zlatan: had little to work with and made no effort to change that. Easily dealt with by the England defence.

Milivoje Novakovic - 6 - Worked harder than his striker partner but was also handed little to play with and cut a frustrated, lonely figure up front.

Subs

Zlatko Dedic
- 6 -  Showed more than Ljubijankic in a far shorter time and had a great chance to equalise when the England defence went missing in the second half but was denied by a die-hard Terry tackle.

Tim Matavz - N/A

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